EDMONTON – Edmonton businessman Michael Ritter has lost an appeal to have his conviction dismissed for breaching bail by applying for a Belizean passport under a false name.
The 50-year-old former chief legal adviser to the Alberta legislature was sentenced in August 2006 to six months for the bail breach.
He had earlier been sentenced to 10 years for his part in a $270-million US fraud scheme that bilked more than 6,500 investors.
Last month, Ritter’s lawyer argued in the Alberta Court of Appeal that the judge who convicted Ritter for the bail breach made a mistake in his analysis of the intent required.
The Crown argued Ritter knowingly applied for a passport under a false name while he was on bail knowing he had been ordered not to.
The passport would have allowed Ritter to flee Canada and avoid possible extradition to the United States on fraud and money-laundering charges.
Alberta’s high court ruled Monday the trial judge was correct in assessing the evidence and that Ritter “had knowingly and intentionally” applied for a passport under a false name.